Bark River-Harris Girls Hoops Rolling Into February on 10-Game Win Streak

By John Vrancic
Special for

February 1, 2024

HARRIS — The Bark River-Harris girls basketball team has been enjoying a successful season with 10 straight victories and a 12-1 overall record to show for it.

Upper PeninsulaPlaying at Escanaba High School, this fall, however, was a new experience for the exchange student from Italy. The Broncos also need only to look back to mid-January to find this season’s biggest highlight to date.

BR-H overcame a 21-point third-quarter deficit to stun neighboring Escanaba 66-63 in a home nonconference match-up Jan. 19.

Senior guard Nina Bower drained a 23-foot jump shot from the left wing on a pass from junior Marissa Ives at the final buzzer, enabling the Broncos to secure that victory.

“Marissa gave me a beautiful pass,” Bower said. “I had no choice but to put it up. Coach (Matt Richer) told us going into overtime was better than turning the ball over. We beat them pretty good the first time (62-47 at Escanaba) and kind of expected to do that again.

“We had an amazing crowd, but haven’t had a game this close. It was a tournament-like atmosphere. We were frustrated at halftime because we hadn’t been playing up to what we could. Although, I think we’ve been playing well together overall and our communication has been good for sure.”

The Broncos’ only loss took place Dec. 11 at Menominee, where they dropped a 64-48 decision.

“We learned if we don’t play together, we can be beaten,” Bower said. “We also learned to overcome adversity.”

The Broncos look to match up most with Munising (11-1) at the top of the Skyline Central Conference Large-schools division this season. They face off Feb. 23.

Bark River-Harris will then attempt to take back the Division 3 District title. The Broncos defeated Menominee 37-33 to clinch the District championship in 2022, but fell to Gladstone 49-44 in overtime in a District Semifinal a year ago.

Senior teammate Lauren Zawada (center) muscles her way to the basket.Bower is averaging 13 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals a game. Senior Lauren Zawada, with an 18-point average, is the team’s leading scorer. She also averages 12 rebounds, five steals and four assists.

“We had kind of a rough start (against Escanaba),” Zawada said. “Things weren’t working out. They’ve improved from the first time we played them. At halftime, we didn’t know how we were going to get back up. We got a little more aggressive and tightened up our defense. Once we got within single digits, our crowd really got into it.

“As seniors we knew this would be the last time we’d play Esky. They have very good players and coaches. This is kind of a feather in our hat.”

BR-H trailed 42-21 early in the third quarter before starting its comeback.

“Coach talked to us at halftime,” senior McKenzie Hoffmeyer said. “We needed to rebound better and work as a team. That was the big highlight of the season. This is the first time we’ve beaten them twice in the same season. They’re a tough team. I think that game will keep us going for a while.”

“At Menominee we just weren’t working as a team, but knew as long as we worked as a team we’d be okay. We’ve been finding the open person and working the ball for high-percentage shots. We need to work on our rebounding and box out more.”

Hoffmeyer averages 17 points, seven rebounds, five steals and four assists.

The Broncos have followed up that Escanaba victory with big wins against Rapid River and Crystal Falls Forest Park and defeated Marquette on Monday 38-32.

“We have to work on our attitude against other teams,” Zawada said. “We also need to work on not getting down on ourselves. We’ve been playing together for so long. Things are starting to click.”

John VrancicJohn Vrancic has covered high school sports in the Upper Peninsula since joining the Escanaba Daily Press staff in 1985. He is known most prominently across the peninsula for his extensive coverage of cross country and track & field that frequently appears in newspapers from the Wisconsin border to Lake Huron. He received the James Trethewey Award for Distinguished Service in 2015 from the Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.

PHOTOS (Top) Bark River-Harris senior McKenzie Hoffmeyer (23) drives past a Marquette defender during her team’s 38-32 win Monday. (Middle) Senior teammate Lauren Zawada (center) muscles her way to the basket. (Photos courtesy of Mitch Vosburg/Escanaba Daily Press.)

St. George's Senior Season Filled with Historic Trip, Sizzling 3-Point Shooting

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

May 21, 2024

Delaney St. George helped Kingston reach its first MHSAA Girls Basketball Final this winter – and along the way finished her high school career among the most prolific 3-point shooters in state history.

The four-year varsity senior made 87 3-pointers this season for the Division 4 runner-up Cardinals, good to tie for 10th on the single-season list after she made 93 as a junior to rank fourth all-time.

She finished her Kingston career with 290 3-pointers in 793 attempts over 94 games – good for second on the career 3-pointers list.

See below for more recent additions to the MHSAA girls basketball record book, and click on the heading to see the record book in full.

Girls Basketball

Hemlock’s 18-6 run this season was fueled in part by more successful 3-point shooting. The Huskies made single-season lists with 170 3-pointers and 552 attempts, and also for making 14 3-pointers Jan. 5 against St. Louis.

Senior Mia McLaughlin made nine of 15 3-point shots for Frankenmuth in a Feb. 6 win over Birch Run as the Eagles made the team record book list with 15 3-pointers total. They also were added for 14 3-pointers in a Feb. 20 win over Bay City John Glenn. McLaughlin will continue her career at Ferris State.

McBain sophomore Peyton Grant scored all 27 of her points Jan. 17 against Houghton Lake on nine 3-pointers to make the single-game list in that category.

Seniors Autumn Tremblay and Ceara LeBlanc earned Brimley’s first girls basketball record book listings this season. Both made single-game lists in a Feb. 27 win over Harbor Springs Harbor Light Christian – Tremblay scored 21 points during the first quarter and LeBlanc had 16 steals for the game – and LeBlanc also was added for 141 steals total over 25 games this past winter.

Reed City’s run at the Central State Activities Association title this winter was fueled in part by 3-point shooting. The Coyotes finished one game out of first, but made the records with 517 3-point attempts over 24 games – and just missed the made 3-pointers list connecting on 143.

Howell sophomore Gabrielle Piepho added her third record book listing over her first two seasons this winter making 89.2 percent of her free throw attempts to rank eighth on that single-season list. Howell as a team also made the 3-point attempts list with 536 over 25 games, and also just missed the 3-pointers made list with 146.

Saline finished the 2023-24 season among the all-time leading 3-point shooters again, this time with 192 – 14th-most for one season – in 587 attempts over 24 games. Sophomore Keira Roehm led the way with 78 3-pointers, tying for 21st on that list.

Junior Tamerah Peterson led Sterling Heights Parkway Christian to a District title this season, providing a record-setting defensive boost in addition to her offensive skills. She finished with 173 steals – eighth-most for one season – over 21 games.

Niles Brandywine reached Breslin Center this season with another stellar distance shooting display, making the record book with both 186 3-pointers and 610 attempts from beyond the arc in finishing Division 3 runner-up.

Alie Bisballe capped her career at Lake City this winter by helping her team reach the Division 3 Semifinal at Breslin Center – and by reaching the MHSAA girls basketball record book in two categories. The 6-foot-4 post player made the lists with 329 rebounds and 188 blocked shots, both in 28 games as Lake City finished 25-3. She will continue her career at Wisconsin.

Ironwood junior Hanna Vaughn will enter her final season next winter already on the career 3-pointers list. She’s made 155 3-pointers over her first three seasons and 70 games on varsity.

PHOTO Kingston’s Delaney St. George (10) pulls up for a shot during the Division 4 Final against Ishpeming.